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Celebrate Mid Autumn Festival with DIY Playdoh Mooncakes An Early Learning Activity for Kids 001

Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival with Fun and Easy Playdough Mooncakes


The Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than by making these easy playdough mooncakes with your toddler? This fun and easy activity is perfect for young children who love to get creative and messy. Playdough mooncakes are a great alternative to traditional mooncakes, which can be too sweet or too difficult for toddlers to enjoy.

With this activity, you can teach your child about the Mid-Autumn Festival while encouraging their imagination and motor skills. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your child and create lasting memories. In this article, we’ll show you how to make playdough mooncakes step-by-step, and provide tips on how to make the activity fun and educational for your little one. Get ready to have some fun and celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with your child!

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Introduction to the Mid-Autumn Festival and Mooncakes

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a special time of year celebrated in many Asian cultures. It is a time for family gatherings, lantern parades, and enjoying delicious mooncakes. This traditional festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, when the moon is believed to be the brightest and fullest.

One of the most iconic aspects of the Mid-Autumn Festival is the mooncake. These delicious treats are round or square pastries filled with various sweet or savory fillings. They are often enjoyed with a cup of tea while admiring the beauty of the full moon.

To make this festive season even more enjoyable for your little ones, why not try a fun and easy peasy playdough mooncake activity? Not only will it keep them entertained, but it will also allow them to learn about the significance of the Mid-Autumn Festival in a hands-on and creative way.

In this activity, your toddlers will have the opportunity to shape and decorate their own playdough mooncakes. They can use their imagination to create different designs, patterns, and even experiment with different colors. It’s a wonderful sensory experience that will engage their fine motor skills and spark their creativity.

Whether you are celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival in a traditional or modern way, incorporating this playdough mooncake activity into your festivities will surely add an extra element of fun and joy for your little ones.

What are real mooncakes like?

real mooncakes

If you’re unfamiliar with mooncakes, they’re a type of Chinese dessert that’s similar to a filled pastry. Imagine a sweet filling, like red bean or lotus seed paste, sometimes even with a salted egg yolk in the center, all encased in a brown crust. There are also variations of the crust, such as a soft, mochi-like “snow skin”, or a flaky, layered crust found in Teochew-style mooncakes (which often have a yam filling). Mooncakes are typically enjoyed with Chinese tea, which helps balance out the sweetness and aids in digestion.

Why playdough is a great activity for toddlers

Playdough is not just a fun and squishy material for toddlers to play with; it also offers a multitude of developmental benefits. Engaging in playdough activities can enhance their fine motor skills, creativity, and sensory exploration, making it an ideal activity for toddlers during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Firstly, playdough provides a wonderful opportunity for toddlers to strengthen their fine motor skills.

As they manipulate and mold the soft dough, they are using their fingers and hands in a precise and controlled manner. Rolling, squeezing, and pinching the playdough helps to improve their hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity, which are crucial for later skills such as writing and drawing.

Additionally, playdough encourages creativity and imagination in toddlers. It serves as a blank canvas for them to shape and create various objects, animals, or even mooncakes! The open-ended nature of playdough allows toddlers to explore their own ideas and express themselves freely. They can experiment with different shapes, colors, and textures, fostering their imaginative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Moreover, playdough is a sensory-rich activity that engages multiple senses of toddlers. The soft and pliable texture of playdough provides tactile stimulation, allowing them to experience different sensations as they squish and squeeze it in their hands. Adding scents or natural materials like cinnamon or dried flowers to the playdough can further enhance their sensory experience, making it a delightful and engaging activity for their senses.

Benefits of engaging toddlers in sensory play

Engaging toddlers in sensory play has numerous benefits for their development and overall growth. Sensory play involves stimulating their senses through various activities, such as playing with playdough, which can provide a unique and enjoyable experience for both parents and children.

One of the key benefits of sensory play is that it helps toddlers explore and discover the world around them. Through activities like molding and shaping playdough, they can enhance their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity. As they squish, squeeze, and roll the playdough, they are strengthening the muscles in their hands and fingers, which is crucial for later tasks like writing and drawing.

Sensory play also promotes creativity and imagination in toddlers. When provided with different colors, textures, and tools, they are encouraged to use their imagination to create various shapes, objects, or even their own mini masterpieces. This not only stimulates their creativity but also fosters problem-solving skills as they figure out how to mold the playdough into their desired forms.

Engaging in sensory play can also have a calming and soothing effect on toddlers. The tactile experience of squishing and manipulating the playdough can help alleviate stress and anxiety. It provides a sensory outlet for them to express their emotions and relax, especially during a festival like Mid-Autumn Festival when excitement and energy may be running high.

Sensory play offers opportunities for language development and social interaction. As toddlers engage in playdough activities, parents or caregivers can engage in conversations with them, describing the colors, shapes, and actions involved. This helps expand their vocabulary and encourages communication skills. It can also be a great social activity, allowing toddlers to play alongside their peers, share materials, and engage in cooperative play.

Materials needed for making playdough mooncakes

All you need are two simple items to get started: a mooncake mold and some regular playdough.

We recommend using a plastic, hand-pressured mooncake mold. It’s not only convenient and easy to use, but it’s also a breeze to clean after you’re done. Plus, its design makes it easy for young kids to use on their own. You can find a variety of cute mooncake molds online.

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Bunny/Animal Pattern Mooncake Moulds

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Barelove Bath Bombs Moon Cake Molds Kit, with 8 PCS 3D Thick Floral Shaped Stamps for 2 Sets, Mid-Autumn Festival Decoration Pastry Cookie Soap Hand-Pressure Mooncake Maker Cutter Tools Set (50g+100g)

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Traditional Mooncake Moulds

VOVOV Mid-Autumn Festival Hand-Pressure Moon Cake Mould With 12 Pcs Mode Pattern For 4 Sets

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For the playdough, we used our go-to choice: Ginpo Okome no Nendo Rice Playdough. This food-grade playdough from Japan is less messy compared to other brands. It’s of excellent quality, easy to store, and if it dries up, it’s very simple to revive.

You can read our review of the Ginpo Okome no Nendo Rice Playdough and find out where to purchase it in this article here.

Video Demonstration

Step by Step guide on how to make playdough mooncakes

There are 2 ways to mold the mooncake. Just to describe the process, the first way was to roll all the same colored playdough into a ball and use the mold to press and push it down. The second way was to throw a ball of playdough into the mold directly and press down with a rounded object. Ensure that the playdough is evenly spread out (We used the sides of a rolling pin to do this). This is followed by pushing and pressing it down. Young kids and toddlers could easily press down the mold firmly with some help and take out the finished mooncake.

Once the playdough mooncakes are dry, your toddlers can have a blast playing with them. They can pretend to serve and share mooncakes, role-play as bakers, or simply enjoy the sensory experience of squishing and shaping the dough.

Remember, playdough mooncakes are not meant for consumption, so make sure to keep them away from little mouths. Enjoy this entertaining activity with your toddlers and create lasting memories during the Mid-Autumn Festival!

Tips for engaging toddlers in the activity

Engaging toddlers in any activity can sometimes be a challenge, but when it comes to making playdough mooncakes, there are a few tips and tricks that can make the experience fun and enjoyable for both you and your little one.

First and foremost, keep the activity simple and age-appropriate. Toddlers have shorter attention spans, so it’s best to break the activity down into smaller, manageable steps. Start by gathering all the necessary materials and ingredients before bringing your toddler into the mix. This way, they can jump right into the fun without having to wait too long.

Next, provide clear instructions and demonstrate each step. Toddlers learn best through imitation, so showing them how to mold and shape the playdough into mooncake shapes will help them understand what to do. Use simple language and engage them in conversation, asking questions like, “Can you make a round mooncake?” or “Which color playdough do you want to use?”

To make the activity more interactive, consider incorporating sensory elements. You can sprinkle some glitter or use textured materials like sequins or beads to decorate the mooncakes if you’re not afraid of mess! This will enhance the tactile experience and stimulate your toddler’s senses.

Don’t forget to praise and encourage your little one throughout the process. Toddlers thrive on positive reinforcement, so be sure to acknowledge their efforts and creativity. Celebrate each mooncake they make, regardless of how it turns out. Remember, it’s all about the process and having fun together!

Lastly, be prepared for a bit of mess. Toddlers love to explore and experiment, and things might get a little messy during the playdough mooncake activity. Lay down a tablecloth or newspaper to protect your workspace, and have wet wipes or a washcloth nearby for easy clean-up.

By following these tips, you can create a fun and engaging experience for your toddler while making playdough mooncakes. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival together and create lasting memories.

Creative ways to decorate the playdough mooncakes

Now comes the fun part – decorating the playdough mooncakes! This is where your toddler’s imagination can run wild and they can unleash their creativity. There are endless possibilities when it comes to decorating these fun treats.

One creative way to decorate the playdough mooncakes is by using small cookie cutters or fondant molds. These can create intricate patterns and designs on the surface of the mooncakes. Your toddler can choose their favorite shapes, such as stars, hearts, or even animals, and press them onto the playdough to leave a beautiful imprint.

Another idea is to use edible coloring to add vibrant colors to the playdough mooncakes. Your toddler can mix different colors together to create their own unique shades. They can then use their fingers or small brushes to paint the mooncakes, just like little artists. This not only enhances their fine motor skills but also adds a visually appealing element to the finished mooncakes.

If your toddler enjoys working with small objects, you can provide them with tiny beads, sequins, or even edible sprinkles to decorate the playdough mooncakes. They can press these decorations onto the surface, creating a textured and sparkling effect. This adds a touch of whimsy and makes the mooncakes even more enticing.

Lastly, you can encourage your toddler to use their imagination and create their own designs using small tools like toothpicks or plastic utensils. They can make patterns, swirls, or even write their names on the mooncakes. This personal touch will make the mooncakes truly special and unique.

Remember, the goal is to have fun and let your toddler’s creativity shine. Encourage them to experiment with different decorating techniques and embrace their imaginative spirit. The end result will be a beautiful masterpiece made with love.

Additional activities to incorporate into the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration with toddlers

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a joyful celebration that brings families together to appreciate the beauty of the moon and enjoy delicious mooncakes. While making playdough mooncakes is a fun and engaging activity for toddlers, there are additional activities you can incorporate into the celebration to make it even more memorable.

  1. Lantern Making: Engage your little ones in the traditional art of lantern making. Provide them with colorful paper, scissors, and glue, and let their creativity shine as they create their own unique lantern designs. Hang these lanterns around your home or take them out for an evening stroll to experience the magical ambiance of the festival.
  2. Moon Gazing: Take advantage of the clear autumn night sky and go moon gazing with your toddlers. Set up a cozy blanket in your backyard or find a nearby park, and encourage your little ones to observe the moon’s beauty. Teach them about the different phases of the moon and share fascinating stories and legends associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival.
  3. Storytelling: Enhance the cultural significance of the Mid-Autumn Festival by sharing traditional stories and legends with your toddlers. Whether it’s the tale of Chang’e, the Moon Goddess, or the story of the Jade Rabbit, storytelling can captivate their imagination and help them understand the deeper meanings behind this special festival.
  4. Outdoor Activities: Plan some outdoor activities to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with toddlers. Organize a lantern parade in your neighborhood, where children can showcase their handmade lanterns and enjoy a leisurely walk together. You can also arrange a mooncake treasure hunt, hiding small mooncake-shaped treats for the children to find and enjoy.
  5. Art and Craft: Engage your little ones in more art and craft activities related to the Mid-Autumn Festival. Encourage them to make paper lotus flowers, decorate paper fans, or create their own moon-themed artwork using various materials and colors. These activities will not only keep them entertained but also allow them to explore their creativity.

When it comes to engaging toddlers in fun activities like making playdough mooncakes, ensuring their safety is of utmost importance. Here are some safety precautions and cleanup tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose non-toxic materials: When making the playdough, opt for non-toxic ingredients that are safe for children. Avoid any harmful chemicals or substances that could be harmful if ingested.
  2. Supervision is key: Always supervise your toddler while they are playing with the playdough. Keep a watchful eye to prevent them from putting the playdough in their mouths or doing anything that may pose a risk.
  3. Avoid small parts: Make sure the playdough mooncake decorations are large enough to avoid being a choking hazard. Avoid using small beads or buttons that can easily come off and be swallowed.
  4. Set up a designated play area: Create a designated area for playdough activities. Lay down a plastic tablecloth or use a washable play mat to contain any mess and make cleanup easier.
  5. Wash hands before and after: Encourage your toddler to wash their hands before and after playing with the playdough. This helps maintain hygiene and prevent any germs from spreading.
  6. Store playdough properly: After the activity is done, store the playdough in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out. Keep it out of reach of young children to avoid accidental ingestion.
  7. Clean up spills promptly: Accidental spills can happen during playdough activities. Clean up any spills or messes promptly to avoid slips or falls. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down surfaces.
  8. Dispose of playdough properly: When it’s time to say goodbye to the playdough, dispose of it properly. Avoid flushing it down the toilet or pouring it down the sink, as it can cause clogs. Instead, wrap it in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash.

By following these safety precautions and cleanup tips, you can ensure a fun and enjoyable playdough mooncake activity for your toddler this Mid-Autumn Festival while keeping them safe and maintaining a clean play environment.


In conclusion, creating playdough mooncakes with toddlers is not only a fun and engaging activity but also a wonderful way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Not only does this activity allow toddlers to explore their creativity and sensory skills, but it also introduces them to cultural traditions in a hands-on and enjoyable way. They get to learn about the significance of the mooncake and the Mid-Autumn Festival while having a blast in the process.

Remember, it’s not about the end result but the journey of creating memories together. Embrace the mess, embrace the laughter, and embrace the joy that comes with this simple and easy peasy activity.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, and happy playdough mooncake making!

This fun and easy activity is not only a great way to celebrate the festival but also provides a perfect opportunity for toddlers to engage in sensory play and enhance their fine motor skills. By following our step-by-step guide, you were able to create adorable and delicious-looking mooncakes that your little ones will cherish. We hope this activity brought joy and laughter to your family, and we wish you a wonderful Mid-Autumn Festival filled with love and togetherness.

If you’re looking for other toddler activity ideas, you can visit the site’s section on Toddler Activity Ideas.

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